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“Never again!” 1 of 5 stars
Review of Riad Al Madina

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Riad Al Madina
3.5 of 5 Hotel   |   9 Rue Attarine, Essaouira 44000, Morocco   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #33 of 76 Hotels in Essaouira
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“Never again!”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed September 3, 2013

Riad al madina was the second riad we stayed in during our trip to morocco. We had high expectations after a perfect stay in a riad in Marrakech and were so disappointed to arrive at the riad al madina, and be welcomed...well I say welcomed I mean handed a card to fill out by the unfriendly receptionist and give a key to our room. The man who brought our luggage to the hotel also rudely demanded a higher tip from the other family who arrived with us! Great start! No smiles, no hellos how are you's, just fill out the form and go up to your room. Aesthetically the riad was okay, but the atmosphere there was just so depressing we never hung around for too long! The staff there were just so unfriendly, unlike all the other people we met in Morocco. The room was spacious and nicely decorated but was situated on the busy market street and we were woken up constantly by horses which were so loud that it sounded like they were in our room, people walking and talking outside all sounded like they were in our room. The bathroom was not very nice at all and the whole floor would get soaked at every shower. For some bizarre reason they had doors at the top of the stairs and the bottom so at night we were trapped on the top floor! On several occasions we wanted to go out for the night and couldn't and we couldn't reach staff as our room telephone didn't work. We would ask the man who looked after the riad at night why they kept shutting these doors and he said for security, but I fail to see the security we had being trapped on the top floor of a riad. He was so unhelpful and didn't even care that we wanted to go out or come back in.
Essaouira is a lovely lovely place and I would defiantly go back but the riad al madina is the most depressing place I have ever stayed, but I mainly out this down to the staff.

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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with friends
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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275 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (19)
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English first
Seattle, Washington
Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed August 1, 2013

From the beginning, this riad was a bit disappointing. Upon check in, we weren't given any information about our stay, the city, etc. The woman at the check in desk was unfriendly to the point of being almost rude. We were checked into our room, which was tucked away in a part of the riad away from the main courtyard and up 4 flights of stairs. The room looks out onto a busy street of the medina and it's really quite loud at all times of night and day. There is no fan or windows apart from those that open up onto the street so unless you want to be hot, you will have to deal with the noise. There was no wifi in the rooms, no complimentary filtered water, no bath products and when housekeeping took the towels at around 10 am, they were not switched out - they only returned the towels in the late afternoon so if you wanted to dry your hands or shower at any time midday, you were out of luck. Also, apparently breakfast was included in the price of our room but we were not told that so we didn't take breakfast and yet were still charged for it in the end. The staff, again, was quite rude about it when I objected to it being included in the bill. Poor value for money, rude staff, all around disappointing. Can't recommend this place.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 13, 2013

The location is really good, just off the main square in Essouira and a short walk to the port, the beach, the souks, the ramparts, the restaurants -- everything. It is an older property and definitely has some charm. The main building is traditional riad style with rooms surrounding an open courtyard. The rooms themselves are pretty basic and seemed a bit run down, but then this is not an expensive hotel by Essaouira standards so you get what you pay for. Breakfast is good and very pleasant too, being served in the open courtyard every morning. If you want luxury you won't like this hotel but if you just want a convenient place to stay Riad al Madina is very acceptable. I would stay again.

When I researched Essaouira online two main problems were mentioned, the proliferation of motor bikes in the medina (old town) and the deterioration of the ramparts. Supposedly motorized vehicles are not allowed in the medina but there are motor bikes roaring and beeping everywhere because the police can't be bothered to enforce the rules any more. Sooner or later (probably sooner) the streets here will be like Marrakech where so many bikes are jammed into the narrow alleys that walking around the old town is quite dangerous. As for the ramparts they seem in good condition on the town side which is the part most tourists see. I took a walk on the outside beside the sea (quite difficult to get to, you need to climb over a low wall near the rocks in the main square). On the sea side there is terrible damage to the walls and obviously nobody is fixing it. Also the rocky area outside the walls is littered with disgusting rubbish. Essaouira is lovely town, potentially world class as a beach resort. It's a shame to see the city authorities let this World Heritage location deteriorate. By the way if you get a day without strong wind then that's the time to take a walk along the beach. On really windy days it's impossible because of wind blown sand.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
canada
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 21, 2013

This riad is a feast for the eye, but once you enter the room, it's a different story. Our rooms were small and dark, and the bathrooms needed renovation badly. My friend and I each booked a 30-min hammam with exfoliation session. We were asked to go together. We presumed we'd be treated separately by two ladies. When we arrived at the spa, the lady at the reception desk asked us to pay first. Then she left us in a small hammam room where we splashed ourselves with hot water, applied black soap all over our bodies and waited. Later she appeared again in swimming suit. It turned out that she was the only one to scrub us. The so called exfoliation was a joke. It lasted for 3 mins max in total for the two of us. I can do much better than that with a loofah. And there was a hygiene problem. We had to lie on a massage platform to be scrubbed. After my friend was done, the woman poured a bucket of water over the massage platform to "clean" it. Then she rushed me to climb up the slippery platform and lie face down, where traces of black soaps were still visible. My forehead rested on the towel soaked with my friend's sweat, and the woman scrubbed me with the same mitts she just scrubbed my friend with. It's so disgusting. After a minute the woman poured a bucket of water over my body and announced it's done. I wanted to clean myself with more water but the lady threw me a wet towel and signalled me to go. We were supposed to get 30 mins each. We arrived at the spa at 6 pm, and we were all done at 6:30pm, including changing. The whole experience was so unpleasant. We did not feel refreshed or cleaned. It's a total rip-off. As we could not find any management staff around, we complained to the hotel manager the next morning before we checked out, he just couldn't care less. He said he could do nothing about it. The worst thing was that both my friend and I found itchy, angry red bites all over our faces, necks and shoulders . As we did not share a room, and the other 6 people in our group did not get the bites, we're certain it's a souvenir from the spa. So think twice before booking the spa service at Riad Al Medina in Essaouira.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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London, United Kingdom
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
2 of 5 stars Reviewed May 16, 2013

This was my third stay at Al Madina over a period of 12 years. First time was excellent, second good, this one not so good! There is a difference between 'rustic' and rundown. Rooms were clean enough but looking very tatty. Seating area on the roof terrace left lot to be desired. Staff were nowhere near as friendly as before and service was very slow and almost non existent sometimes! Shame as it's in a great location and still has heaps of potential to be as good as it used to be.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with friends
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Southampton, England, United Kingdom
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 25, 2013

We had a groupon booking for 3 nights and everything went very smoothly.

We had a lovely room (room 45) which was nicely decorated, quiet and stayed cool in the hot days and was warm enough at night. Very firm mattress, which was comfier than I expected. There is a powerful warm shower and full flushing loo (not to be taken for granted in morocco!)

We had the hamman and massage on the first day, which was quite comical as we didn't really know what to expect. We have been to morocco before and have been to local hamman's but not a hotel one, which is pretty different. The breakfasts are fine, cold buffet, tea (with milk- yes!) coffee, and really lovely fresh orange juice. The terrace up top is great, with some shady parts and some sun traps. We had a tea on the terrace on an afternoon and we had a dinner in the resturantincluded on one night - which was fine, but basic from the set menu, but I would advise upgrading to the a la cart if you are eating here.

We packed a lot in and eat at some lovely places - a bar a short walk down the beach with outside seating (used to be cote plage I think, now called 'fanatic'); a vibrantly coloured 'pizzeria' on a square off rue laalouj and il Mare on Rue Yamen. If you are looking for good Argan oil go to 21 Rue Laalouj… It think it is called 'Babouka' or something similar. Taros on the main square is good for a drink and music.

Essaouira is well worth 3-4 days if not more and Riad Al Medina was a great base for exploring and retreating back to for some quiet and down time.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reading, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 20, 2013 via mobile

This is the second time I have stayed. This time for a week. A historic and traditional raid with very green and pleasant open core on the edge of the walled inner city. Whilst rooms are traditional and so to some extent are basic, the en suite and the flooding of the bathroom at every shower, with only a tired shower curtain , is a pain. Bed is comfortable but room small. Biggest bug bear is the poor breakfast with limited selection and nothing hot , no omelette etc staff are helpful in a distant way.

  • Stayed April 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Riad Al Madina

Address: 9 Rue Attarine, Essaouira 44000, Morocco
Location: Morocco > Marrakech-Tensift-El Haouz Region > Essaouira
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #33 of 76 Hotels in Essaouira
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Riad Al Madina 3.5*
Number of rooms: 54
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
this elegant owned is located in the heat of essaouira.200 metres from the beach ans near all the attractions and souks.it has a central courtyard with fireplace and stream room on site or you will be offered massage and sauna.Also restaurant Riad El Madina served both traditional moroccan cuisine and intarnational dishes.free wifi,bar,patio and panoramic terrasse. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Riad Al Madina Essaouira
Riad Al Madina Hotel Essaouira

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